In 1983, Transavia engineers researched into the adaptation of the aircraft to a military role. The new model was designed to operate from rough strips, to carry weapons and forward stores, to perform field ambulance work and to support border patrol and counter-insurgency operations.
However, this attempt at breaking into the profitable air defence industry did not meet with success. The Federal Government afforded only lukewarm support to Transavia's efforts to expand and to build on the undisputed technical success of the military version of the Airtruk. Already in 1967, a frustrated Belgiorno-Nettis bitterly remarked that "with the combined efforts of the Government and the Department of Civil Aviation, the industry had been brought to a standstill".